Fierce Cyclone Phailin today left a trail of destruction in coastal Odisha where nearly nine lakh people were hit and crops worth Rs 2,400 crore destroyed even as one person was killed in Andhra Pradesh in a house collapse.
The cyclone, which packed 220 kmph at landfall yesterday in Odisha, weakened this morning and was moving northwards and will settle into a deep depression by the evening. Under its impact, heavy rains lashed parts of Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
While seven people were killed in Odisha, the deaths took place as uprooted trees fell on them before the cyclone made the landfall, Odisha Revenue and Disaster Minister S N Patro said in Bhubaneshwar.
In Andhra Pradesh, a 60-year-old man died in Bulivadu village of Srikakulam district following heavy downpour unleashed by the severe storm. A 27-year-old fisherman died in his sleep in the early hours today in a relief camp at Kaviti, a state disaster management official said.
IMD Director General L S Rathore said at noon that the wind speed of the cyclone is now 100 to 110 kmph.
A flood warning has been issued in Bihar as widespread rains are expected in its wake.
Giving details of the devastation caused by the cyclone, Patro said 14,514 villages in 12 districts have been affected, hitting a population of 8,53,620.
There were no major casualties though Phailin was no less than a super cyclone as largescale evacuation of people to storm shelters prevented casualties which were seen in the 1999 super cyclone that left nearly 10,000 dead.
The Minister said 8,73,646 people have been evacuated.
Over five lakh hectares of standing crops have been destroyed by the gushing waters causing an estimated loss of Rs 2,400 crore, he said.
Extensive damage has also been caused to 'kutcha' houses besides partial disruption of power, communication lines and rail and road traffic in various parts of Odisha, particularly in Ganjam district, which faced the storm's onslaught.
Thousands of trees and poles were uprooted in Bhubaneshwar and several buildings have got weakened in Parampur town, above 20 kms from Gopalpur, Patro said.
In Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, relief operations have been launched in full swing as heavy rains coupled with strong winds continue to lash most parts of the coastal areas.
Srikakulam Collector Saurabh Gaur said 39 villages in the cyclone-affected areas are surrounded by water. MORE PTI AAM GDK ACB NAB PR SC DV 10131256 NNNN